The Theatre of Ideas:
Elements of Shaw, Freud
and Bergson in
Shaw and the theatre of ideas
George Bernard Shaw was born in Synge Street, Dublin, 26 July 1856, his family was the one deserved little tribute of reverence. At first Shaw looked up to his father, until he discovered that though he liked to give thunderous lectures on the evils of drink, was himself a tippler. The revelation of his hypocrisy and weakness left a scar on Shaw's attitude toward paternal authority (Ohmann, 27).
Writing was as essential as breathing for Shaw and he didn't think of it as a profession but at last he realized it as his life's work and after some repeated failure, success came to him slowly (Hardwick, 178).
Shaw is a playwright following Ibsen and his debt is crystallized in his "Quintessence of Ibsenism", first published in 1891 and revived in 1931 (183-84). He is anxious to replace the "romantic tradition" of "mere artist" by a "frankly doctrinal theatre". He believes that drama is a means of philosophy, it has the mission of prophecy and its aims are revolutionary. The drama of feeling is no longer proper and Shaw is searching for the drama of thought. His conscience annoys him to make people think and his preaching tries to make them conscious of sin. This is the source of his overemphasized philosophical aspect. Shaw didn't write "Quintessence of Ibsenism" to show "poetic beauties" but "to squeeze Ibsen's devious and complicated rebel art to narrow confines of polemical social doctrine", he is looking for a doctrine in the works of artists. Shaw is both poet and philosopher, artist and ideologist. To make it more clear we must say Shaw is a Platonic thinker whose art is only a medium to communicate his ideas, yet he is an Aristotelian maker whose ideas are only one element in a total representation, he is also a philosopher who wants to make an ideal republic, rather he is a revolutionary reformer whose concern is the advancement of human race; a...